Amidst Backlash, Google Defers Its Play Store Billing Policy For India By Seven Months

According to reports, several Indian app developers and startup founders were against Google’s Play billing system

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After facing backlash from Indian app developers and startup founders, Google has decided to extend its deadline for Indian app developers to comply with its play billing system to April 2022 from the original date of September 2021, as per a company blogpost.

The company said that they are ‘deeply committed to the success of the Indian ecosystem’ and  do not succeed unless their partners succeed. Google delayed the enforcement of its billing system to ensure Indian app developers have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that are yet to launch, or that currently use an alternative payment system.

According to media reports, this delay in enforcing Google’s billing system will allow Indian app developers to get away with not paying Google 30 per cent of commission on in-app purchases of digital goods. Last week, the tech giant had announced developers distributing their apps on Play Store to start using its in-app payment system by September 2021.

 To address the growing concerns among app developers, California-headquartered tech giant will be setting up listening lessons with Indian startups. It will set up Policy workshops to clarify any additional queries related to their policies. 

The company has said that it is not a new policy and has asked developers to use Google Play’s billing system. It said that around 97 per cent of the app developers already comply with the policy. It also clarified that the policy only applies to less than 3 per cent of the developers who charge their users to download their app or sell in-app digital items.

Since last week, many Indian app developers have expressed dissatisfaction with Google’s monopoly in the country’s internet ecosystem. Following Google pulling down Paytm app from its Play Store, several Indian app developers have held meetings to discuss the future of Indian app ecosystem and Google’s policy.

One of the strongest voices emerged was that of Paytm’s Vijay Shekar Sharma. In a direct challenge to Google, Paytm have even launched  its own Android Mini App store. Mini apps is a custom-built mobile website that will give users app-like experience without having to download them the company statement read. Paytm is providing listing and distribution of these mini-apps within its app without any charges.

More than 300 app-based service providers, such as Ola, Rapido, 1MG, Domino’s Pizza, No Broker etc, have already joined the Paytm app store.

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